Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde on Thursday, inaugurated the Governing Council of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, charging the Council to provide leadership that will take the institution to the acme of excellence in the world.
The governor charged members of the Council to, within a short while, ensure that the institution is ranked among the top ten universities in the world.
He also charged members to oversee and ensure accountability on the part of the institution’s direct administrators.
Governor Makinde stated these while inaugurating the Council members at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’’ Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, on Thursday.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the governor equally called on Council members to see their positions as call to duty and service, adding that “this is not a job one gets and goes to sleep.”
The statement quoted the governor as saying that the mandate given to the committee was to take necessary and strategic measures that will make LAUTECH one of the 10 top universities in the world and the first in Africa.
Speaking on the specific mandate being given to the new Council, the governor said: “We want you to take the necessary measures and pursue vigorously all strategies and tactics that will make LAUTECH a world-class university. That is the mandate.
“What you are getting is an opportunity to shape this school for future generations. We no longer have the excuse to say one state or the other is holding back the school’s progress. So, I encourage you to get the job done and I am sure you will get it done.”
The governor explained that though the Governing Council is almost invisible, its impact is always felt in the direction the school is headed, stating that the appointment of the Council members is a call to service and duty that must be heeded with every sense of responsibility.
The governor added: “The role of the Governing Council is almost invisible, still, its impact is undoubtedly felt in the direction that the school is headed. Its position is very strategic and one of the core duties of members is overseeing and ensuring accountability on the part of the school’s direct administrators.
“It is definitely not a position that one takes up and goes to sleep. It is a special call to duty and service. If we are looking at the calibre of people on this board, I am convinced that you are up to the task.
“It was not a mistake that two of the members today – Professor Ayodeji Omole and Mr. Adeosun Idowu – were both the chairman and secretary of the Oyo State Negotiation Team on the Sole Ownership of LAUTECH, which assisted the Oyo State Government to get LAUTECH back.
“I gave the initial committee a mandate to go out there and get a divorce. When I gave the assignment, I knew it was going to be tough, especially where there is no halfway point for them, but they came back and delivered 100 per cent on that mandate. So, I am giving you another mandate today and I am sure you will still deliver 100 per cent.”
Governor Makinde assured the Council of the continuous support of his government, noting that the state government is ready to work hard to help the Council deliver its mandate of turning the institution into a centre of excellence.
“Be assured of the continuous support of the government in this regard. Let it be that the next news we will hear in the future is that, because of the work you did, LAUTECH has broken into the list of top ten universities in the world.
“I challenge you to key into this vision. We are not talking about the top 10 universities in Nigeria but in the world. You should already know that we want you to take us from the 13th position to the 1st position. I know it is a big task but that is why your mandate is to mould and make LAUTECH into a world-class institution. So, the benchmark is not even Nigeria but looking at the universities around the world.
“I want to assure you that the Oyo State Government is ready to work with you to make that happen.
“Well, in the case of LAUTECH, as we inaugurate this Governing Council, we can rightly say that the first phase of acquiring this school and setting things up for success has ended in praise. The next phase of rebuilding, which is what this Governing Council is supposed to do, is a surgical operation. And I know that the next phase will also end in praise.”
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the inauguration, the chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Omole, said the governor has promised to give the institution all the necessary support to transform and rebuild the university.
He said the committee knew the challenges ahead of it, especially that of a crop of staff that are not motivated, saying that the Council will face the job squarely.
He explained that the institution has a lot of potential but that, unfortunately, somewhere along the line, there was a crisis and the university could no longer focus on its core mandate.
“I am sure that you have heard that the governor has promised to give the institution all the necessary support to transform and rebuild the university. We know there are a lot of challenges, especially some crops of staff that are not motivated. You cannot owe somebody 8-10 months salary and expect such a person to put in the best.
“So, we know we are going to have a lot of challenges but we will overcome them and the university will be put on a proper footing to face the challenges of development desired of a university that is really worthy of its name.
“On the first position that the governor wants us to move the university to, there is nothing impossible. The staff in LAUTECH don’t have inferior brains to those people in the first 10 universities in the world. Our staff have competed favourably with those scholars and we know that, with adequate motivation, incentive and good working environment, all those things can be achieved.”
Members of the Governing Council inaugurated by the governor include: Professor Omole, pro-chancellor and chairman; Mr. Adeosun Olukunle Idowu, Secretary of the Council; Hon. Adekunle Bankole; Professor Lanre Olaniyan and Mrs. Titilayomi Ahmadu.